Lisa Young is a creative vocal stylist and improviser, incorporating Indian and African elements in her work. Her album Grace with Quartet – Stephen Magnusson, Ben Robertson and Dave Beck, won the BELL Award for Best Australian Vocal Album in 2007. Her album The Eternal Pulse was shortlisted for the same BELL award in 2012. A longtime student of maestro Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani in Chennai, India, Lisa is an expert in Konnakol – South Indian vocal percussion. Lisa is a founding member of all female vocal group Coco’s Lunch who has recorded 7 CDs of original music receiving 2 ARIA nominations, and toured extensively, performing to packed houses throughout the world.
Renowned as a passionate and engaging workshop leader, choirs throughout the world perform Young’s works. Her composition Thulele Mama Ya (with Coco’s Lunch) won Best Folk/World Song in the Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards (USA), and recently Other Plans (Young) won Best Song Composed in the 2015 Australian A Cappella AUSACA Play Awards. Other Plans was also nominated in the CARA (USA) awards for Best Folk/World Song 2016.
She has enjoyed commissions from The Australian Voices and Gondwana Choirs. In 2015 she was awarded her PhD in Music Performance from Monash University where she received the Monash-Pratt Post Graduate Award for her candidature. Upon graduating she was awarded Best Doctoral Thesis – Music Performance from the Arts Faculty.
In 2011 her quartet premiered their song cycle The Eternal Pulse to a standing ovation at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, followed by performances at Borneo Jazz Fest 2013 and KL International Jazz and Arts Festival 2014. The Eternal Pulse features compositions by Young in collaboration with Robertson and Mani, incorporating both intoned and pitched passages of Konnakol, layering Indian elements, rhythmic textures and ensemble dialogue. The music was created as part of her PhD in Music Performance at Monash University.
Young serves as lecturer, voice and aural specialist at Box Hill Institute in the Masters and Undergraduate programs and has previously taught voice at Monash University and Victorian College Of Arts Melbourne, Australia. In January 2014, The Eternal Pulse and Grace albums were released worldwide on the STEM label (Germany & Netherlands).
Awards /Scholarships Highlights
- BELL AWARD WINNER ‘Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album’ GRACE 2007
- Best Doctoral Thesis – Music Performance 2015, Monash University.
- WINNER AUSACA Play Awards for Other Plans composed Young: Treble nomination OTHER PLANS and nominations ‘SHIFTING TIME’ and ‘IN MY ROOM’
- Winner CARA awards USA 2003 – BEST FOLK/WORLD SONG for Thulele Mama Ya
- CARA awards USA 2016 ‘Other Plans’ / Young, nomination best FOLK/WORLD song.
- 2013 Melbourne Prize for Music – Outstanding Musician Finalist
- PhD Music Performance, Monash University, May 2015 – ‘The Eternal Pulse’ Creating With Konnakol and its Adaptation into Contemporary Vocal Performance.
- Masters Music Performance, VCA Melbourne, 1998. ‘Konnakol: The History and Development of Solkattu – The Vocal Syllables – of the Mridangam.
Performance Highlights With Lisa Young Quartet and Coco’s Lunch
- Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2015 (Coco’s Lunch show ‘Other Plans’)
- Bird’s Basement Melbourne: Celebrating ‘BELL’ Award Winning Vocalists 2016
- The Salon: Melbourne Recital Centre 2016
- KUALA LUMPUR International Jazz Festival 2014
- The HINDU NOVEMBER FEST, INDIA 2014
- BORNEO Jazz Festival 2013
- Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2008 & 2011
Major Awards /Scholarships
- Monash-Pratt Post Graduate Award for PhD candidature 2010- 2014
- PROJECT FELLOWSHIP Australia Council for the Arts 2008
- Bell award Shortlist ‘Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album’ THE ETERNAL PULSE’ 2012
- ASIA LINK residency for study and research in India Mumbai/Chennai 1998
- ARTS VICTORIA award, The Eternal Pulse, video and documentary clips 2012/13
- ARIA awards – Finalist nomination for Blueprint (Coco’s Lunch) Best World Music Album, and Rat Trap Snap, Best Children’s Album 2007
Recent Papers / Presentations
- MSA – Musicological Society of Australia – 2012 Victorian Chapter Conference, Winner of Best Paper presented by a student.
- DDCA Symposium 2015, The Outstanding Field: Artistic Research Emerging from the Academy. Paper Presentation (by invitation)
- Choralfest 2015: Australian National Choral Association Conference
- Australian Society for Music Educators (ASME) International Conference
Notable Performers Of Lisa’s Scores
- USA: Cincinnati Children’s Choir, West Virginia University Choir, University of South Maine Chamber Singers, Crown College Women’s Choir – Minneapolis, Grand Rapid’s Women’s Chorus Michigan, Young Naperville Singers Illinois, Michigan State University Women’s Chamber Ensemble, Creavo Ensemble – Voena Children’s Choir California, Reed Academy Treble Choir, MO, West Custago Youth Chorale, ME, Festus Intermediate Honor Choir, MO, Quincy Area Youth Chorus – Illinois
CANADA: Serious Options Choir – BC,FRANCE: Musique Pluriel, POLAND: Skowronki Girls Choir, SWEDEN: Kalmar Nation’s Choir, GERMANY: IAM E.V. Choir, The Left Bank Vocal Collective – Leeds, Dolce Choir – UK
- ASIA/AUSTRALIA: Asia Pacific Youth Choir,The Australian Voices, Voyces (Perth), Gondwana Choirs, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Young Voices of Melbourne, Young Voices of Adelaide, Australian Girls Choir, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, Biralee Children’s Choir
“Young has created a fine balance between accessible composition and exciting improvisation. Her sophisticated blend of Indian and jazz idioms seduces from the start and never releases its hold…” Ian Patterson, All About Jazz.
“interpolates her musical will readily and completely… moves seamlessly …percussive, wordless singing and ballads.” C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
“Other-worldly…totally engaging… Her art is an awesome rhythmic control. Not to be missed, this is one out of the box.” Leon Gettler, The AGE, Australia
‘Remarkable grace in amazing voice’ Jessica Nicholas, The AGE, Australia